Cooking by the Seat of Your Pants

By Arlene Marshall (TwinLakesChef) on December 16, 2010

Arriving home after a two week trip to California, there was nothing fresh in the refrigerator to cook with.

During the winter, I find it difficult to keep fresh produce available.  This last trip brought me home to an empty refrigerator.  We tend to keep the pantry and freezers full but that cannot make up for having fresh produce.

After pulling a few things from the pantry, it was determined that we could make Linguine with Clam Sauce.  Here is the recipe:

CLICK HERE

Linguine with Clam Sauce

In the freezer there was a package of fresh linguine that had been frozen.  We put a big pot of water on the stove to boil and opened the canned clams to drain and reserved the liquid.  Because there was no clam juice in the pantry, some chicken stock was pulled out in case more liquid was necessary.

After assembling the ingredients, chop the onion and put in a pan with a bit of olive oil.  Saute the onion until translucent.  Then add the minced garlic.  We did find fresh garlic in the refrigerator but we also keep on-hand garlic that is already minced and comes in a squeeze tube.  It would have worked fine here.
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After adding cayenne pepper, and dried Thyme (skipped the bay leaf because we were out), saute for a couple of minutes.  Then add the reserved clam juice and the wine.  We were lucky to find a bottle of wine in the refrigerator with a scant 1/3 cup left in the bottle.  Chicken broth could have been substituted.

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Now the sauce can simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes but if kept on low enough heat, it can go for 20 minutes.  It should reduce in volume, slightly.

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Meanwhile, we find garlic bread in the freezer and set the table.  Linguine with Clam Sauce is basically white and has no color.  In the absence of parsley, we find some roasted red bell pepper in the freezer,  chop it and add to the pan, maybe 1/2 cup, just for color.  The pot of water has come to a boil so we add the pasta and keep an eye on the pot that it does not boil over.  Fresh pasta, even once frozen, only has to boil about 4 minutes.  It finishes absorbing more liquid when added to the clam sauce.  Heat the garlic bread in a toaster oven, or regular oven.

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We add the drained clams to the sauce and a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon juice from a shriveled lemon we found in the produce drawer.  Now the sauce warms through while we drain the pasta.  Arrange pasta on a serving platter.  Last minute whisk in pats of butter and pour over pasta.

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In the freezer was a lovely wedge of Pecorino Romano cheese so we substituted that for fresh Parmesian cheese.  Freezing cheese is supposedly a "no no" but we would choose frozen cheese over NO cheese.

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So there you have it; many substitutions but a wonderful meal in about 30 minutes. Bon Appetite!

Related articles:
clam sauce, clams, cooking, dinner, ease, easy, fast, gourmet, linguine, pasta, quick, travel

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
A fine time.... Sharon Dec 18, 2010 7:31 PM 16

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